Disney has showcased technology that transmits audio through the human body, being heard as a “whisper” by the recipient.
The ‘Ishin-Den-Shin’ interactive installation, created at Disney Research Pittsburgh by Yuri Suzuki, Olivier Bau and Ivan Poupyrev, uses a microphone to record sound, which is then converted to an inaudible signal.
The signal is transmitted to a person’s body as an “modulated electrostatic field” when they hold the microphone, and the field can be passed from person to person via any sort of physical contact.
When somebody with the signal touches someone’s ear, the ear vibrates and creates audio, meaning the recipient can hear the audio in that ear only, much like a whisper.
The installation received an honorary mention at the Ars Electronica Festival in Austria.
Ishin-Denshin was explained by the developers to be a four-kanji Japanese mantra which translates literally as “what the mind thinks, the heart transmits.”
“It is sometimes explained in English in terms of ‘telepathy,’” said the developers.
“[With Inshin-Den-Shin,] bodies become a broadcasting medium for intimate, physical, sound communication.”